In "Richard Cory," compare between the life of Richard Cory and the lives of the townspeople.  

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The lowly townspeople view Richard Cory as a distinguished gentleman, who has a regal appearance and is always outgoing when he passes by them on the street. Richard Cory is a wealthy man who is described as being "clean favored" and "quietly arrayed." The townspeople perceive him to be richer than a king and wish to trade places with him. The townspeople occupy a lower social class than Richard Cory and must work hard to earn a living. They toil all day and cannot even afford to eat meat. However, they fail to realize that Richard Cory's life is not as glamorous or joyful as it seems. Richard Cory's outward appearance and upper-class status conceal his emotional and psychological distress. The poor townspeople, who seem to have close, meaningful relationships with each other, fail to notice that Richard Cory is an extremely lonely, depressed man. Despite their lower-class status and difficult lives, they are more emotionally healthy and stable than Richard Cory.

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Richard Corey was a well-to-do gentleman, well-dressed, handsome, much admired.  His manners were perfect, to the point of making even the "lower classes" feel comfortable around him.

The townspeople, on the other hand, have to work hard for their existence.  They dream of a better life, such as Richard has, but doubt that it will come to pass.  Viewing their lives as worthless, they will no doubt be unable to understand what caused Richard to feel that his seemingly charmed life was no longer worth living, that he could no longer live up to the image that the towsnpeople had of him.

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